Tours in Bolivia Part 2: Amazon Pampas Tour

Our Bolivian adventure continued into La Paz (which I’ll tell more about later), and then right back out again with a fight to Rurrebaque, in the heart of the Amazon Basin.  Wow! We were so relieved to get back down to sea level, and get more hot weather on our skin.  We settled into a cute hostel with hammocks and a toucan theme, and set out to book an Amazon tour.

We quickly found out that the Jungle and Pampas tours differed a lot from each other.  Whereas the former brings you into the jungle to show amazing trees, plants, and explain about indigeineous cultures, the latter takes you down an Amazonian river and guaranteed such animal sightings as pink river dolphins, alligators, monkeys, birds, and a possible anaconda (if we were lucky).  With the recommendation from several friends and fellow travelers, we opted for a Pampas three-day tour with an eco-friendly company.

We took a more than slightly rugged car ride to get to the river, but that’s where the fun began!   We hopped on our narrow wooden boat and headed down the river with our Bolivian jungle guide.  Our first stop- swimming with dolphins!

We entered a small cove area, and immediately saw fins poking out of the water as the dolphins were playing with each other.  I was amazed!  My first dolphin sighting ever and the creatures were less than two meters away from me.  To be honest, I was the last one out of the boat, as I was a bit terrified.  My phobia of fish nibbling my toes came back to haunt me from my childhood.  It was easy to be nervous with these murky waters and the inability to see where the dolphins were under the water until you felt them.  I managed to steer clear, actually, and just watched them frolic from a few meters away.

Throughout the rest of the voyage down river, we spotted alligators sunbathing, monkeys swinging in the trees, and countless birds: giant cranes, and other funky-mohawk-sporting-blue-headed noisy birds.  Our guide had amazing eyes to spot them from afar and steer our boat closer to capture the best glimpse.

After relaxing for a bit in our riverside shack, with beds covered with protective mosquito nets, we set out for a nighttime boat right to spot alligators in the water for their nighttime feed.  Flashlights in hand, we saw quite a few hiding amongst the branches with the eyes lighting up to a fiery red when our torchlight hit them.  In addition to the cool feeling of sailing down the river in the darkness was the beautiful view of a clear nighttime sky showing off a magnificent array of stars.

Our second day began with a boat ride to the Pampas (Amazon Savannah), which is a fancy word for swamp covered in tall grass.  With another tour group with us, we set out in search for anacondas slithering amongst our sloshing boots.  Within then first ten minutes, our guide had one, and we all rushed to get some photos.  After all the googling over the snake, we freed him back to his home, and set on back down the river for a rest at the shack before pirhana fishing.

The afternoon fishing session was a success for all except Edwin and I, although we had lots of fun putting countless pieces of bait on our rods, only to have the prihanas cleverly eat it quickly without getting hooked.  Better luck next time, I suppose.  I did get to get a close up look at their vicious teeth.  No wonder they were able to nibble and get away!

After our final tour down the river to our second night’s accommodation, we had another amazing meal (Bolivians know how to cook!).

Our last day was quickly upon us and we were taking a different route than most groups.  Our company offered a half day of horseback riding around some Amazonian villages. Our group jumped at this chance, and I quickly got acquainted with my new friend, Blanco.  We rode for almost three hours down beautiful, quiet roads surrounded by lush greenery and eventually a beautiful lake to rest at.  Riding was so fun that I soon tested the limits of my ride to get a few gallops down the road.  What a great way to spend our last morning in the Amazon sunshine.

Our drive back to Rurrebaque was still bumpy, and we had to take a roadside break when our car ran out of gas, but overall, another great tour in Bolivia!

I am quite impressed at th quality of these tours for what we are paying.  The accommodation and food is spectacular and the guides have been friendly, knowledgable and great fun to get to know about the sights and culture around us.

I’m excited for the few weeks we have left in this interesting and quirky country with different things around every corner.

 

One Response to Tours in Bolivia Part 2: Amazon Pampas Tour
  1. […] look below or click here for Tours in Bolivia Part 2 which talks about our amazing Pampas Tour into the Amazon […]

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Tours in Bolivia Part 2: Amazon Pampas Tour

Our Bolivian adventure continued into La Paz (which I’ll tell more about later), and then right back out again with a fight to Rurrebaque, in the heart of the Amazon Basin.  Wow! We were so relieved to get back down to sea level, and get more hot weather on our skin.  We settled into a cute hostel with hammocks and a toucan theme, and set out to book an Amazon tour.

We quickly found out that the Jungle and Pampas tours differed a lot from each other.  Whereas the former brings you into the jungle to show amazing trees, plants, and explain about indigeineous cultures, the latter takes you down an Amazonian river and guaranteed such animal sightings as pink river dolphins, alligators, monkeys, birds, and a possible anaconda (if we were lucky).  With the recommendation from several friends and fellow travelers, we opted for a Pampas three-day tour with an eco-friendly company.

We took a more than slightly rugged car ride to get to the river, but that’s where the fun began!   We hopped on our narrow wooden boat and headed down the river with our Bolivian jungle guide.  Our first stop- swimming with dolphins!

We entered a small cove area, and immediately saw fins poking out of the water as the dolphins were playing with each other.  I was amazed!  My first dolphin sighting ever and the creatures were less than two meters away from me.  To be honest, I was the last one out of the boat, as I was a bit terrified.  My phobia of fish nibbling my toes came back to haunt me from my childhood.  It was easy to be nervous with these murky waters and the inability to see where the dolphins were under the water until you felt them.  I managed to steer clear, actually, and just watched them frolic from a few meters away.

Throughout the rest of the voyage down river, we spotted alligators sunbathing, monkeys swinging in the trees, and countless birds: giant cranes, and other funky-mohawk-sporting-blue-headed noisy birds.  Our guide had amazing eyes to spot them from afar and steer our boat closer to capture the best glimpse.

After relaxing for a bit in our riverside shack, with beds covered with protective mosquito nets, we set out for a nighttime boat right to spot alligators in the water for their nighttime feed.  Flashlights in hand, we saw quite a few hiding amongst the branches with the eyes lighting up to a fiery red when our torchlight hit them.  In addition to the cool feeling of sailing down the river in the darkness was the beautiful view of a clear nighttime sky showing off a magnificent array of stars.

Our second day began with a boat ride to the Pampas (Amazon Savannah), which is a fancy word for swamp covered in tall grass.  With another tour group with us, we set out in search for anacondas slithering amongst our sloshing boots.  Within then first ten minutes, our guide had one, and we all rushed to get some photos.  After all the googling over the snake, we freed him back to his home, and set on back down the river for a rest at the shack before pirhana fishing.

The afternoon fishing session was a success for all except Edwin and I, although we had lots of fun putting countless pieces of bait on our rods, only to have the prihanas cleverly eat it quickly without getting hooked.  Better luck next time, I suppose.  I did get to get a close up look at their vicious teeth.  No wonder they were able to nibble and get away!

After our final tour down the river to our second night’s accommodation, we had another amazing meal (Bolivians know how to cook!).

Our last day was quickly upon us and we were taking a different route than most groups.  Our company offered a half day of horseback riding around some Amazonian villages. Our group jumped at this chance, and I quickly got acquainted with my new friend, Blanco.  We rode for almost three hours down beautiful, quiet roads surrounded by lush greenery and eventually a beautiful lake to rest at.  Riding was so fun that I soon tested the limits of my ride to get a few gallops down the road.  What a great way to spend our last morning in the Amazon sunshine.

Our drive back to Rurrebaque was still bumpy, and we had to take a roadside break when our car ran out of gas, but overall, another great tour in Bolivia!

I am quite impressed at th quality of these tours for what we are paying.  The accommodation and food is spectacular and the guides have been friendly, knowledgable and great fun to get to know about the sights and culture around us.

I’m excited for the few weeks we have left in this interesting and quirky country with different things around every corner.

 

One Response to Tours in Bolivia Part 2: Amazon Pampas Tour
  1. […] look below or click here for Tours in Bolivia Part 2 which talks about our amazing Pampas Tour into the Amazon […]

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Awards

Kristin’s Backpack won 1st Prize for TESL Ontario’s 2011 ESL Week Blog Contest.
About Me


Welcome to Kristin’s Backpack! I jumped on the blogging bandwagon in 2010 to share my Canadian-theatrical-backpacking perspective on my world adventures. With my return to Canada, I will continue to dig into my pockets and reflect on life as it has come to involve Teaching, Travel, and Theatre. Time to unzip the pockets!
Portfolios
Check out my past and current work here: 

Kristin's Library
Looking for some interesting reading material? Check out my Reading Picks and Bookworm post for some ideas! 

               
This is what summer is all about- finished a book yesterday and am on to the next today.  I just opened The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill, which has been on my shelf for ages.  I have been extremely interested in reading accounts that stem from true stories in a dark history that is often swept to the side.  
At the same time, I have been listening to The Maze Runner series as an audio book and have been extremely captivated by the young characters’ circumstances and their view on the world.  
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